The emerging roles of human tissue kallikreins in cancer

Nat Rev Cancer. 2004 Nov;4(11):876-90. doi: 10.1038/nrc1474.


Human tissue kallikreins (hKs), which are encoded by the largest contiguous cluster of protease genes in the human genome, are secreted serine proteases with diverse expression patterns and physiological roles. Although primarily known for their clinical applicability as cancer biomarkers, recent evidence implicates hKs in many cancer-related processes, including cell-growth regulation, angiogenesis, invasion and metastasis. They have been shown to promote or inhibit neoplastic progression, acting individually and/or in cascades with other hKs and proteases, and might represent attractive targets for therapeutic intervention.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic*
  • Disease Progression
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Humans
  • Kallikreins / biosynthesis
  • Kallikreins / genetics
  • Kallikreins / pharmacology*
  • Neoplasms / physiopathology*


  • Kallikreins